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Travel to Cumbria and Beyond

Fourteen from 2014

Facebook and Google have both taken it upon themselves to define my year, not quite as I would have done.  So I thought I’d give my own interpretation.  One photo for one month.  That was far too difficult.  There have been way too many wonderful moments.  In then end I managed fourteen fifteen.

My year began in Milan

DuomoDay 3

with cold, crisp days and brilliant blue sky, window shopping for things too expensive to buy.

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Back home I was still tramping my way over the most northern Wainrights.  Looking back it certainly wasn’t as cold as it looks to be now in Cumbria and by February the snowdrops were out and about.

Snowdropsfeb

Only to be confounded when more of the white stuff arrived.

Skiddaw 3

Skiddaw

In March between family birthdays, my parents are heading for longevity awards,I headed for a bit of dry, warm weather walking on the Island of Evia.

NewImage

Catching the early wild flowers and tortoises just emerging from hibernation.  I learned that tortoise lived in Greece, I don’t know where I thought they lived, but it was such a wonderful surprise to see them there in the wild.

Wainwrights

Not so glamorous Ullscarf

By April I had completed ‘The List’ – number 214 of those Lakeland Fells defined by Wainwrights boots and thousand more.  What better reason to sit on a hill, bottle of champagne in hand while trying to stop oneself being blown off the face of the earth! It wasn’t even the highest of hills.

JacksRake

The snow had all but gone and I eventually made it up the notorious Jacks Rake, with a lot of help from my friends!

Riga

May; and once more I was retracing my roots back in Latvia, with dusty streets, magnificent opera, woodlands and wild flowers.

Goingup

Come June, and my commitment to Vietnam was becoming a reality and I was on a mission to pack two summers into one, knowing the next would be in a different part of the world, and so Striding Edge was crossed and ticked off another list.

RavensEdge

Raven’s Edge

July was glorious.  Warm sun and blue clouds.  Swimming in lakes, camping and watching the sunset from mountain tops.

Working

Angkor Wat

After a family wedding, a visit from my New York based son, who, yes I did drag up a few hills, I left the UK in August.  Via Singapore and the chaos of Cambodia to arrive in Vietnam

Flyingstart

and the motorbike madness in the first few days of September.

Mekong boats

Mekong

There’s been a lot of culture shocking, not least of which is living in a city with not a hill in sight!  But each and every day has proven to be some kind of mini adventure.  From becoming reasonably adept at navigating the city on my motorbike to learning enough Vietnamese to successfully shop in the tiny alleyways and street markets.  My first ‘escape’ was to the Mekong Delta where I was ferried along the tourist trail by a variety of water craft.

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Work was left behind for a day in November with a trip out to the Cu Chi tunnels.  The river infinitely more attractive, if not so interesting, than what lay underground.

And so to December and a Christmas unlike another.  International shops with decorations fit for New York or London.  Santa climbing the sides of buildings in garb for driving reindeer but hardly the heady heights of 32C.  Luckily for me someone  had given him the tip off that I was not in the Lakes this Christmas and he threw out a small package on his way back to the North Pole.

Camp

and I managed a trip out to the mountains to reconnect with nature.

I wonder where I’ll be next year?

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